Founded by artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955 as part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show), dOCUMENTA is a an exhibition of modern and contemporary art which takes place every five years at different venues in Kassel, Germany. Typically gives its artists at least two years to conceive and produce their projects, allowing them to present elaborate and intellectually complex works.
Dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory, dOCUMENTA (13) is about the transversal alliances, influences and consequences that a globalized world provokes in the difference areas of society, and how politics are inseparable from a sensual and energetic worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields, and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary.
In 2012, dOCUMENTA (13) is physically and conceptually held in Kassel (Germany), Kabul (Afghanistan), Alexandria/Cairo (Egypt), and Banff (Canada), exploring site-related micro-histories and promoting different and partial perspectives connect to the local history and reality of a place, while sharing influences of a globalized world.
Besides the traditional main venues located in Kassel (the Fridericianum, the documenta-Halle, and the Neue Galerie), dOCUMENTA (13) takes place in a variety of other spaces that represent different physical, psychological, historical, cultural realms and realities. At spaces devoted to natural and technical science, such as the Ottoneum and the Orangerie, throughout the Baroque Karlsaue park, with its little components suggesting a particular mode of proximity by way of the spatially diffused aggregation of elements that also maintains their own singularities, and at the industrial spaces behind the former Hauptbahnhof, once Kassel’s main train station but now only used for local transport—a dystopian space connected to the factory world that produced the military tanks for the National Socialist regime in the twentieth century and that is still adjacent to the factories.
The exhibition willl also take place in a variety of “bourgeois” spaces of a different order, off the main venues, places that are still in normal use or, on the other hand, places that have been forgotten and “removed.”
Limited to 100 days of exhibition, which is why it is often referred to as the “museum of 100 days,” dOCUMENTA (13) is being held between 9 June - 16 September 2012.
Over 750,000 visitors are expected.
The Italian American writer, art historian and curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is the Artistic Director of this year's edition.